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Identification and Estimation of Dynamic Games


  • Pesendorfer, Martin
  • Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp


This Paper studies the identification problem in infinite horizon Markovian games and proposes a generally applicable estimation method. Every period firms simultaneously select an action from a finite set. We characterize the set of Markov equilibria. Period profits are a linear function of equilibrium choice probabilities. The question of identification of these values is then reduced to the existence of a solution to this linear equation system. We characterize the identification conditions. We propose a simple estimation procedure that follows the steps in the identification argument. The estimator is consistent, asymptotic normally distributed, and efficient. We have collected quarterly time series data on pubs, restaurants, coffeehouses, bakeries and carpenters for two Austrian towns between 1982 and 2002. A dynamic entry game is estimated in which firms simultaneously decide whether to enter, remain active, or exit the industry. The period profit estimates are used to simulate the equilibrium behaviour under a policy experiment in which a unit tax is imposed on firms deciding to enter the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Pesendorfer, Martin & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Dynamic Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 3965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3965

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
    2. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1987. "Do Entry Conditions Vary across Markets?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 833-882.
    3. Jofre-Bonet, Mireia & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "Bidding behavior in a repeated procurement auction: A summary," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1006-1020, May.
    4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 531-553.
    5. Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Martin Pesendorfer, 2003. "Estimation of a Dynamic Auction Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1443-1489, September.
    6. Thierry Magnac & David Thesmar, 2002. "Identifying Dynamic Discrete Decision Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 801-816, March.
    7. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
    8. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
    9. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
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    More about this item


    entry games; estimation of dynamic oligopoly;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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